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Join Justin Seeley, lynda.com staff author and design enthusiast, each week for a new 5-minute, self-contained tutorial that you can use to instantly improve your design workflow. This series covers techniques for print, digital, and web design, addressing the tools that creative professionals like you use most. Learn new ways to leverage layer styles and vector shapes in Adobe Photoshop, work more efficiently with text in Illustrator, and embed videos and even tweets in WordPress posts, and much more. Check back each week for a new installment, and a new design hack.
Hello, and welcome back to another installment of Creative Quick Tips. My name is Justin Seeley and this week I'm going to be showing you how to combine two vector shapes inside of Adobe Photoshop. Now, you might be thinking, wait a minute, I already know how to do that and it's actually pretty simple. And, you may be right but I'm betting the method I'm going to show you doesn't really line up with exactly what you're thinking about. Let's check it out. I'm going to create a brand new document here, File>New. And, I'm just going to chose something like one of the web presets 1024 by 768 works well. I'm going to come over and select the Custom Shape tool and we're going to go up and I'm just going to draw out something like this circle.
So, we'll do that first. And then, we're also going to load up some shapes. So, let's go and click this little button here. And we'll choose all shapes that way, we have all of them. I'll just choose Append so that it appends them. And then, I'm going to look for, a cool shape to put in the middle here. So, let's do something like the light bulb looks pretty good. So, you may be thinking that to add a shape to this, since I have the shape selected. I just hold down the Shift key and draw out the shape. And you would be absolutely correct. That is one way to combine two shapes into one.
As you can see, it's just one shape layer right there. But the problem is, we don't always encounter that and we're not always drawing these ourselves, so. What we may encounter is something like this. Let me undo that. And I'll just click away from the shape so nothing is selected. Then I'll re-select the Custom Shape tool and I'll just draw out a light bulb over that's an independent shape from that. So, what I'm going to do now, is just Cmd or Ctrl+click away from that, and then. Draw out a new shape. There we go. So, I've got shape two right there. So, you may get something from somebody, from a client, from another designer, whoever the case may be, where you get these two shapes and you need to combine them into one.
So, you Cmd or Ctrl+T them, and you put this here and then, your solution may be just to take these two and group them together or convert them into a smart object or whatever the case may be. But you can actually combine these into one shape. So, here's how you do it. First and foremost you need to familiarize yourself with this little guy right here, the Paths Selection tool. Need to make sure that you have the light bulb selected, or the circle selected, whichever one you want to choose as your shape that you're going to combine with the other one. Then I'm just going to copy this shape. Once I copy that shape, I'm going to select Shape 1, and I'm just going to paste into it.
That's all I did. Now I take this shape, and throw away Shape 2. Notice, they're all combined. It is one solid shape. I can double-click here, an change the color, and both of them change. They both also, if I use Cmd or Ctrl+T, scale, with one another, or they can scale independently. Totally up to you, which way to go with that. So, there you go. How to quickly and easily combine vector shapes, inside of Photoshop, to make your artwork a little bit more flexible, and a little bit more united, as well.
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